Steps to take after an apartment fire
When a fire breaks out on a rental property it can be hard to figure out who has to pay for the damages. Whether you rent out commercial or living space, the liability after a fire is pretty straightforward. Tenants will be responsible for damages done to their personal belongings, such as furniture and appliances. As the property owner you will be responsible for most of the damages done to the building itself. Following a fire you may be responsible for the following tasks after an apartment fire:
? Communicating with Fire Fighters. These first responders can help you assess the safety of your building. You and your tenants will likely want to enter the apartments to get an idea of the damage done. You won't be able to enter the building until it is deemed safe.
? Starting the Claims Process. You have to get in touch with your insurance provider to report the apartment fire. Your agent may give you a list of fire restoration professionals that they prefer you use. You may also want to make sure your renter calls his or her insurance provider to start the claims process for personal belongings.
? Documenting Fire Damage: You need to take pictures of the structure, make lists of damaged appliances and record other furnishings you owned that were damaged.
? Securing the Property. You need to secure the property for two reasons. First, you need to protect the safety of those who may want to enter the building, such as your renters. Putting up warning signs may be enough to keep people out until it is safe to enter. Second, you need to keep vandals and thieves out. You may need to board up windows and put up a security fence.
After an apartment fire, you need to take the proper steps to ensure that everyone, including yourself, is safe and fully aware of the damage liabilities. While you aren't responsible for all of the damages, you do have a lot of financial responsibility.
Dealing with fire damage in your rental property? Give us a call! (616) 647-4300